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ZF develops lightweight plastic passenger car engine mount; 25% weight advantage

ZF has developed a new plastic engine mount offering maximum performance coupled with a weight advantage of approximately 25% compared with rubber-metal designs. The new mount is already being produced in 6 model-specific versions for small and compact cars, as well as electric cars of Renault-Nissan.

Engine mounts perform important as well as diverse tasks in vehicles. As a joining element between the engine and the vehicle, they prevent undesired vibrations from the unit and driveline being transfered to the rest of the vehicle and, at the same time, they also ensure that noises are insulated. Above all, they must also be strong enough to keep the engine stable within the vehicle, even when traveling on poor roads or in the event of collisions.

Our objective was to increase the maximum lightweight construction potential of standard engine mounts and to further optimize both functionality and reliability.

—Dr. Torsten Bremer, Head of the Rubber & Plastics business unit of the Chassis Technology division

The ZF engineers implemented the engine mount housing using fiber-glass reinforced polyamide instead of aluminum continuous casting as was previously the case. A total weight reduction of 25% is achieved thanks to the use of the plastic housing. However, it is crucial that the component remains just as efficient and stable as its predecessor. Furthermore, the part is also completely insensitive to corrosion and 100 % recyclable.



Not very interesting, but this is how progress is made, bit by bit, component by component.

It all adds up.

Sometimes there are major breakthroughs, like common rail diesel or hybridization, or (maybe) Ultracap based hybrids, but mostly it is step by step, lighter steels, ways to bind aluminium to steel, electric A/C, electric power steering, etc. etc.
And each of these small improvements takes dedicated work by a small - medium team of engineers.

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